The World of Darkness
We can’t know when humans first started telling stories, or why. But it’s a safe bet that the first tale tellers used their craft to explain the mysteries going on around them. Indeed, some of the most ancient stories that are still told today grapple with the biggest mysteries of all — life, death, creation, redemption and the ongoing struggle of good versus evil. The World Of Darkness is a Storytelling game, because it’s an opportunity for you to participate in the deeply human endeavor of telling stories.
The stories told in this game are set in the World of Darkness. It’s a place very much like our world, sharing the same history, culture and geography. Superficially, most people in this fictional world live the same lives we do. They eat the same food, wear the same clothes, and waste time watching the same stupid TV shows. And yet, in the World of Darkness, shadows are deeper, nights are darker, fog is thicker. If, in our world, a neighborhood has a rundown house that gives people the creeps, in the World of Darkness, that house emits strange sighs on certain nights of the year, and seems to have a human face when seen from the corner of one’s eye. Or so some neighbors say. In our world, there are urban legends. In the World of Darkness, there are urban legends whispered into the ears of autistic children by invisible spiders.
The Elements of Stylish Horror
The World of Darkness book presents rules for playing a type of roleplaying game called Storytelling. In this type of game, the traditional elements of a story — theme, mood, plot and character — are more important than the rules themselves. The rules serve to help you tell stories about your characters in an interactive experience. They help prevent arguments and provide a solid basis for handling elements of chance, but they don’t overshadow the story itself. The triumphs and tragedies of your characters as they try to survive and even thrive in the World of Darkness are the main focus, not dice rolls or lists of traits.
Storytelling games involve at least two, although preferably four or more players. Everybody involved in the game participates in telling a group story — the players create and act out the roles of their characters, and the Storyteller creates and reveals the plot, introducing allies and antagonists with which the players’ characters interact. The players’ choices throughout the course of the Storytelling experience alter the plot. The Storyteller’s job isn’t to defend his story from any attempt to change it, but to help create the story as events unfold, reacting to the players’ choices and weaving them into a greater whole, introducing secondary characters and exotic settings.